herald

Sunday 25 September 2016

O'brien in picture

Caravaggio can notch up trainer's 12th Grade One win of year at the Curragh

Nations Alexander can deliver in a Group Three at Newmarket.
Nations Alexander can deliver in a Group Three at Newmarket.
Caravaggio in the Keeneland Phoenix looks set to give Aidan O’Brien another Grade One success.

Aidan O'Brien will bid to win his 12th Group One of the current Flat season when sending out Caravaggio in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh and the long odds-on favourite looks likely to be reassociated with Seamie Heffernan.

Odds of 1/6 are likely for the Royal Ascot winner who was ridden to victory in the Coventry Stakes by Ryan Moore, and prior to that at the Curragh, but Seamie Heffernan won a Dundalk maiden on the colt's debut and is likely to be back onboard on Sunday as Moore gives himself time to recover from a hip injury.

BoyleSports make Caravaggio just 3/1 to win the English 2,000 Guineas next season and although he undoubtedly looks the real deal and is priced accordingly to win on Sunday, punters who fancy a flutter in the ante-post markets will still surely be conscious of how Air Force Blue went into the winter months deemed to be the next great hope in Ballydoyle, but failed on the big stage this season.

As for Moore, the length of his spell on the sidelines is unclear but he has declared he won't be back until he's fully happy.

In a statement released yesterday, Moore said: "I have been a bit sore for the last couple of weeks and been advised by a specialist that complete rest is the best option.

"I'm not going to rush it as I want to be 100 per cent for all the major races in the autumn so I'm going to play it by ear, but hope to be back soon."

Meanwhile, tomorrow at Newmarket the Group Three Sweet Solera Stakes is the feature race and as is so often the case on Saturdays, the boys in blue of Godolphin hold a strong hand with Grecian Light and Easy Victory their representatives, but colours familiar to Irish punters will be those of Noel O'Callaghan and his Nations Alexander, who should be around about a 3/1 shot, can take this nine-runner contest.

At Haydock, Irish-based jockeys Shane Foley and Colm O'Donoghue are taking up the opportunities for spare rides and O'Donoghue will don the familiar colours of John Magnier for the Group Three Rose Of Lancaster Stakes when riding John Gosden's Royal Artillery, but he could have a bit to find to beat Charlie Appleby's Scottish.

Foley, however, may be able to make his trip worthwhile when getting the leg up on Sharaakah for trainer Ed Dunlop earlier on the card.

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